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Was I Coached?

I recently decided to extend a small lean-to shed into a bigger lean-to shed. This was to become an office space for me so that when the kids were on one of their multitude of school holidays I could escape their constant demands for food, a downside of working from home. Once built I would have an official workspace that they would soon learn was where I was not to be interrupted unless the house was on fire.

I have a small modicum of knowledge around DIY and how things work or are built. I have a toolkit of the real world type – hammers, drills etc and an old transistor radio permanently tuned into Radio 2. But then I realised my raw materials were still in the form of several pallets, some old shelves and an old discarded white board.

Using my modicum I drew up a plan (sketch on the back of an envelope) and watched a certain video storage website to “learn” how to take a pallet apart in the most efficient manner. NB – make sure you get the right pallet and not just any old one. The difference between them is massive!

I was off and running using my existing knowledge with my new found and rather boring insight on how to take those pallets apart. Several times through the build I watched some back episodes of George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces television programme, more of the video storage site and flicked through a couple of old make over books I had on my shelf just to keep myself on the right track.

And this is where the real world collides with my day job. If I put myself in the shoes of the man or woman in the street, if someone sent me a survey asking if I had been coached I would say no. If it asked if I had been taught I would say no. Mentored, no. I would acknowledge I had been inspired but in my mind I was just finding out what I needed. How I found that out might have used technology, might have been a person to camera explaining the steps but I would not equate that to coaching.

This is much like Equestrian, where I am told that the majority of riders don’t consider themselves to be taking part in a sport – they are merely exercising their animal much like you or I would walk the dog.

So, how does our industry measure the impact of all these resources we are producing? How can we go back to Government and tell them how our work with coaches has changed behaviours or lives? Especially if the coaches’ participants don’t know or believe they have been coached.

I leave you with a question that you can comment on below: Would the number of views or likes of a coaching video be acceptable as a measure and a sign of impact?

Colin Bennett, sports coach UK, Coaching Network Manager


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